The Venny is open for #KenCommFest15

The future may not be certain for Kensington’s popular communal backyard, The Venny – but what is certain is they will be open for the 2015 Kensington CommUNITY Festival.

Urban Communities festival organiser Deb Wilson said The Venny had been a part of every Kensington CommUNITY Festival, since it began eight years ago.

“It wouldn’t be the same without them, they’re a local institution” she said.

The Venny, located at JJ Holland Park, is a free staff supervised communal backyard and play space for children aged five to 16-years-old from the Kensington redevelopment (former public housing estate, which transitioned to a 50:50 public and private new housing community) and surrounding areas.  Despite being open for more than 35 years, The Venny came very close to having to close their doors after the recent budget from the Federal Government cut funding to all five adventure playgrounds last year.  Thanks to emergency funding from the City of Melbourne on top of existing funding from Council and fundraising by the local community, they have been able to keep their doors open – but for how long is unknown.

Playground worker and administration assistant Sam Brown said they were very grateful to the City of Melbourne and extremely touched by the community’s generosity and solidarity.

“The community really came together to show their support and to fight for something they care about.” Sam said.

“Due to cuts to our funding we can no longer open on a Sunday but we will be opening especially for this year’s festival.  We wouldn’t want to miss it. The Kensington CommUNITY Festival grew out of Housing Week celebrations and because we are the backyard for kids in public housing we have always been involved in this celebration, so it’s a great joy that we can be part of this year’s Kensington CommUNITY Festival.”

The Kensington CommUNITY Festival, which runs alongside the Unity Cup, is an event for the all whole family with free activities, a jumping castle, face-painting, food, an animal farm, skate clinics, henna, live music, bush tucker, the inaugural Kensington Tour De Roubaix and much, much more.  It will be held on 29 March 2015 at JJ Holland Park precinct inclusive of the Bill Vanina Pavilion, Kensington Community Recreation Centre and The Venny (Kensington Adventure Playground).

Urban Communities would like to thank all major sponsors and local businesses for their ongoing support, especially the City of Melbourne, the Victorian Multicultural Commission and Cultural Diversity Week.